'The Walking Dead's' Scott M. Gimple and Greg Nicotero on the Midseason Finale's Big Deaths and What's Next
The Governor (David Morrissey) in "The Walking Dead"
SPOILER ALERT: This article contains story line and character spoilers for "The Walking Dead."
Just so you know, "Walking Dead" fans: The writers and producers of the series aren't taking the deaths of major characters in Sunday's Season 4 midseason finale lightly, either. Sure, maybe no one's crying over the death of big baddie the Governor, but his death does mean the end of a compelling character, outstandingly performed by David Morrissey.
The same can be said of Scott Wilson, whose Hershel had become one of the most beloved characters for fans and the other actors on the AMC series. And Wilson … "TWD" showrunner Scott M. Gimple says it best. "I don't think I've ever used the word 'adore,' but I adore Scott Wilson," Gimple tells Yahoo TV.
Gimple and "TWD" executive producer, director, and special effects makeup whiz Greg Nicotero talked to Yahoo TV about why letting go of such stellar actors and characters is part of the larger story line of Season 4, about how the Governor is like Walter White, about how the second half of the season is like a different show, and, yes, about how we will find out the identity of the person who lured walkers to the prison fence with those rats.
Andrew Lincoln told us last week he had texted you a quote he read, "Tragedy is when right means right." That really resonated after the finale. The Governor went into the showdown with at least some good intention of protecting his new family. Is that quote a summary of the Governor's story?
Scott M. Gimple: Yeah, it's interesting … Andrew was sending me quotes throughout the season and just really nailing them even before the scripts would come out. The bottom line is the first five episodes are one story, and the next two episodes are another story. And they're through the point of view of Rick and the Governor, each of their stories crashing together and very much coming to their own individual ends at the end of this midseason finale. We see that king [chess piece] on the ground, and that's the end of that story with the Governor. And then we see Clara, from the season premiere, and that's the end of that story, and they're both individual stories that have their own "when right meets right."
Greg Nicotero: I remember sitting in the writers room when Scott pitched out — the way the process works is, the writers break the story, and then we all come in, and we sit around the conference table, and Scott pitches out the first eight episodes. And basically it's like telling you a story. One thing that I remember hearing Scott say over and over again is, "OK, this is the moment when this character's story ends. This part of their journey ends here, and then we will pick it up somewhere else down the road." So to be able to see the first five episodes and see where those characters are going … The first day we were shooting, Andy Lincoln was saying, "Yeah, you know, I don't know about Rick as a farmer. It feels unnatural and it just …" It was an interesting character choice for him. But when you go back now, and you look at Episode 1, and you see where Rick was, and what he is forced to do and what happens to him, every one of our characters in this first half of the season has had a well thought-out beginning, middle, and end [to their story arc].